Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Filipino Migrant Worker: A Canonico-Pastoral Challenge to the Philippine Church

The 17th National Convention of the Canon Law Society of the Philippines
20-23 April 2009, Vigan Culture & Trade Center (Vigan City).

THE Overseas Filipino Workers constitute a sociological phenomenon that cannot be stopped in the near or medium-term future, given the economic needs of the country. Often touted as the saviors of the Philippine economy, they nevertheless represent a real pastoral challenge to the Church in the Philippines and in their host countries. Already it is becoming clear—for example—that overseas employment is now the number one cause of marital and family break-up among Filipinos.

On the other hand, the OFWs are bringing a sprout of faith, hope and charity to a secularized world. For example, it has been observed that many Churches in Europe rejoice at the presence of OFWs, because of the religious vitality that they bring with them. They have a faith that in Europe is not as strong, not as warm, and it is certain that the cultural spirit of the OFWs helps in the ecclesiastical celebrations.

Everything that can be done must be done so as to avoid harm and take advantage of what can be utilized to obtain good things from this phenomenon. What is needed is to empower the OFWs in order to fully realize their potential for evangelization. What is needed is the creation of adequate jurisdictional structures to deliver adequate pastoral care to these Catholics on the move.

It is in the light of these needs that the Canon Law Society of the Philippines shall focus on The Canonical Aspects of the Pastoral Care of the Filipino Migrants in their Annual Convention this coming April 20-23, to be hosted by the Diocese of Vigan at the Vigan Culture & Trade Center in Vigan City. The Convention work plan is as follows:

Lecture 1: The Reality of the Filipino Migrant Workers and their Families: An Overview.
— by Dr. Maruja Asis (Director for Research & Publications, Scalabrini
Migration Center, Manila.) 21Apr (Mon) 10:00am
Lecture 2: The Downside of Migration:
Some Canonical Problems posed by Filipino Migrant Workers.
— by Msgr. Gamaliel Tulabing, J.C.D. 21 Apr (Mon) 2:30pm
Lecture 3: Shepherding an Itinerant Flock: A Survey of Possible Organizational & Jurisdictional Structures.
— by Fr. Jaime B. Achacoso, J.C.D. 22 Apr (Tue) 8:30 am
CLSP Workshop: Towards an Ecclesiastical Circumscription for Filipino Migrant Workers and their Families. 22 Apr (Tue) 10-12:00 am

As a service to faithful of the host diocese, as in years past, a mini-symposium shall be held on: Some Canonical Procedures for the Religious: Transfer, Indult of Departure, Exclaustration and “Leave of Absence”.
— by Fr.Elias Ayuban, J.C.D. 22 Apr (Tue) 8:30 am

For inquiries, please contact the CLSP Secretariat: or

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